Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #271

This is a writing prompt. Bet you can’t do it! Take the 10 random words below and crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story! And remember: after (if) you finish entering your submission into the comment field, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Chew
  2. Night
  3. Matter
  4. Heart
  5. Crime
  6. Control
  7. Whole
  8. Young
  9. Count
  10. Plug

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)


54 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #271”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Abby was new in town, unaware of the Splottown Stalker’s crime spree that preyed upon young, lonely women in the night, a gruesome matter that had the whole town suspecting anyone and everyone, even one of their own.
    Thinking she had control over the whole bump in the night situation, Abby continued to count sheep, as the Stalker plugged is mouth with his fingers and chewed his nails outside her window nervously awaiting his opportunity. “Her heart will be mine,” he hissed injuriously.

    –Here’s more for you. All the Halloween stuff is in the store and I just can’t help it. 

  2. Creighton dropped down on all eight limbs. He tried to ignore the noxious gas he’d released. Mr. Smith had stipulated that Foreigner be put down with him. Creighton had heard the night crew chief laughing about miscommunication. The chewed, unstaring face was no miscommunication, though. Creighton shuddered as he nudged the pit bull out of the way. Time to get to work.

    Bart Loomis stared at the shivering young gravedigger. “Boy, you ain’t cut out for diggin’ ditches and graves and you ain’t ain’t got the heart for a life of crime. What’s the matter with you? Control yourself!”

    Creighton sucked in a bellyful of November air. The chief was going to fire him! “Please, sir, you can count on me. I’ll do the whole thing over.”

    Loomis snorted, “What? You’re an expert, now? Every time  you plop down, some poor bastard’s AV plug pops out! I’m done with you. Git outta here!”

  3. Liss Thomas says:

    I know why they pick on me.  I’m not like them.  They have muscles, golden hair, and perfect teeth.  Their girlfriends, too numerous to count, are like clones of Victoria Secret model, but younger.  I hear them coming.  It seems impossible for them to breathe or chew with their mouths closed.  I close my book and put it away in my backpack so it won’t be ruined like the last one.  I control the urge to run, they would only catch me.  The whole ordeal last only a few minutes but my heart pounds and thrashes long after they leave.  My eye flash red.  It’s time they pay for their crimes.  I plug the gash in my brow and huddle in the bushes until night.  The homecoming game is winding down, I hear the cheers.  Our team won, again.  But it won’t matter that they’re all football stars or larger than me.  They will know fear but not by any imaginary creature like a vampire or werewolf.  I’m real.

  4. Here is my poem entry for this one:

    Night Crimes
    The young chew
    at the night
    ready to plug
    control the count
    heart of crime
    a simple matter
    today not settling
    for the slice
    wanting instead
    the whole pie 

    • K says:

      This was a thought provoking poem. It’s sad that this still happens.

      • What was your interpretation, I am not even sure I know what this poem was about when I wrote it.

        • K says:

          Well, what I got from the poem was a group of young teenagers causing trouble out of boredom. It reminds me that others get under the influence of their friends and end up committing crimes because of it. It’s amazing that you went with what you wrote without thinking about it. Usually for these challenges, I have to think the plot through before writing it.

          • My mind works differently, I take the same approach as my Twitter poetry and just write and see what came out after.  Usually 1 or 2 words inspire a common theme, but in the end I usually have no idea what will come out until it’s done.

            In this poem the first line I wrote was “heart of crime” and then I built up and down from there ironically. 

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Justin – I love when the words direct you-it’s such a journey 🙂

    • Liss Thomas says:

      Your poems hit a true note every time 🙂

    • Justin, I sense a subconscious distilling going on in your poems. You ALWAYS leave a message, even if you don’t see it. Of course, poetry lends itself to open interpretation – I’m with K on this one.
      I’ve seen far too much crap in my years in the big city to not recognize the tone. Rather than boredom, though, these young punks are driven by a need for RESPECT.

      • I did actually envision a team or group of hackers who prey online “ready to plug” as in plug-in, and thought that must have been my inner meaning when reading it back after.  

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin G: Ohhhh, I’d put this toward the top of your all-time best. Love the flow of this one.

  5. Cathy Miller says:

    His eyes flared as he tracked the lone woman scurrying to the safety of her car. Or so she thought. He felt the twitch of fingers longing to squeeze and the taste of blood from the chew to his cheek. 

    The night was his and the matter at hand had his heart racing in eager anticipation. His only crime would be failure. He was in control and soon would become whole in the fate of another.

    The young woman sat in the lampost shine, center-stage for the taking. 

    Now. Do it now.

    We count on you. Do it now.

    Her strangled gasp could barely form before she knew she was gone. The plug of life draining toward its common end.

  6. K says:

    This might be a long submission.

    “Always leave them laughing when you say goodbye.”

    Counting down the seconds until the class ended, Lisbeth shot out of her seat and rushed out of the door before the others rose with utmost synchronization and filed out of the classroom. As soon as she stepped onto the crosswalk overlooking the traffic below, a golden blur whirled around her then settled by her side. Lisbeth chewed on her lip, suppressing a snort of laughter. Her attention drifted to the window, and she watched as the clouds travelled across the ambivalent sky striken with a light blue on one side and a foreboding purple on the other. 
    “Heh, I got you again, huh?” he asked. A hand tapped her shoulder. Lisbeth, thinking it was an upperclassman, turned to the left only to come face to face with the blonde’s ridiculous facial expression. She permitted herself to release a much needed laugh. The male grinned, bounding down the crosswalk with each step.
    “Austin, what’s wrong with you?!” One of Lisbeth’s friends, Ashley, managed to sneak up behind Austin and smacked him on the back of his head. “You’re scaring the poor girl!”
    “Damn, Ashley. That hurt,” Austin grumbled, massaging his head. “Hey, we had this bet ever since the beginning of this year that every time I made Lisbeth laugh, Riley would give me a dollar.” Ashley narrowed her eyes in Austin’s direction due to his shady justification.
    “Well, where’s-”
    “I’m here!” a bespectacled brunette huffed heavy breaths as she quickened her pace to catch up with the trio. “What’s the matter? Did I miss something?”
    “Nothing much.” Lisbeth spoke up and defended Austin by flashing a smile.
    “Oh!” Flustered, Riley stowed a binder in her bag, slung it across her back, and extracted a crisp bill from her pocket. “Here, Austin.”
    “Sweet,” commented the blonde as he stashed the dollar in his sweatshirt pocket.
    “Riley, what’s that about? Why are you paying Austin?”
    “Oh, I forgot to mention that to you, didn’t I? Um, I’m writing a multiple chaptered story for composition class about an introverted protagonist paired with an optimistic lead.” Ashley scrutinized Riley. “I know, I know. It’s cliched much, but I’m getting into it. That and it’s due at the end of the month. I’ve gone into it too much to start over. As a real insight into this relationship, I’m watching over these two and pay Austin when he’s done his job correctly.”
    “Ok, that’s a bit…stalker-ish. It seems like you’re trying to control their whole relationship. Contriving it is not the best way to go.”
    “Nah,” Riley refuted, “they’re as natural as siblings are.” She studied Austin whose strides matched Lisbeth’s. He ignored the two behind him and conversed with Lisbeth with animated interest. At one point, Austin focused on the bridge of his nose and flared his nostrils. Lisbeth formed a tight line with her lips, maintaining her stolid character. Austin’s expression reverted to a calm one then he proceeded to raise a curious eyebrow. Lisbeth cracked a small smile upon perceiving the gesture. Feeling a bit burdened, she directed her eyes to the ground. A pink tinge stained her cheeks.  
    “Yeah, why are you being so defensive, Ashley? Jealous you’re not the one receiving the attention?” Austin’s gaze flitted from Lisbeth to the two girls then back. “Is it a crime to make someone happy? Do you hate happiness?”
    “Well, when you put it like that, it makes me seem like I always need attention. I was just saying,” Ashley replied, walking alongside Austin. While rounding a corner after passing through the crosswalk, Lisbeth detected strange, inky markings on Austin’s arms protruding from Austin’s sleeve.
    “Um, what’s that?” Lisbeth gave a tentative tug on his sweatshirt.
    “What? This?” Austin pushed his sleeves to his elbows, revealing a more of the mark. Tattooed across his arm in squiggly lettering was the quote “Too young to die, too fast to live”. 
    “Too young to die, too fast to live?” Lisbeth tilted her head to the side. “Do you know what it means, Austin?”
    “Nope,” the blonde emphasized the ending to the word, “I was hoping you or Riley knew.” Lisbeth concentrated on his arm with confusion written on her face.
    “When did you get that done?”
    “Didn’t I tell you? Wait, I forgot you’ve been out from school lately. I got it done last night. My cousin’s a tattoo artist and said it was on the house. So, what does it mean?”
    “I think it means that you’re not afraid of living your life to the fullest, but along the way, you’re still susceptible to death. That’s you all right,” Lisbeth added with a bit of sarcasm. 
    “Then that means I was right. See, Austin? I know what I’m talking about.” Ashley nudged him in the stomach.
    “Well, there’s not really a right answer. It’s just how you interpret it,” Riley interjected. Lisbeth, remembering that they needed to get to their next class, fished out her phone and checked the time. 
    “It’s already one. The bell’s about to ring in two minutes.” 
    “We’re almost there anyway. We all have geometry next period, or did you forget?”
    “Wait, don’t put your phone away,” Ashley interrupted, holding out her hand.
    “Did you make the screensaver?” 
    “Oh, that.” Abashed, Lisbeth relinquished possession it and allowed Ashley, Riley, and Austin to look at her background. Riley reacted first by bursting into a fit of laughter. She covered her mouth as she did so.
    “Oh my gosh, you did do it. It’s perfect!”
    “You did pretty good,” complimented Ashley, flashing a grin.
    “Is this the time we went to the water park? Man, how long ago was that? A year?” asked Austin. “Was this to make fun of me? Congratulations, you failed, Lisbeth. I look like a glorified cat.”
    “Isn’t that what you were supposed to be?” countered Lisbeth in a placid tone. Ashley and Riley chuckled.
    “Ah,” Austin glanced down at her phone before it turned dormant then returned it to Lisbeth, “Derp King.” The blonde laughed at his title, his eyes glimmering. Lisbeth beamed at her accomplishment of making the trio smile. The sustained, sonorous bell rippled in the atmosphere, signalling for all students to report to their class. Right on time, Ashley entered the open doorway with Austin trailing after her. Their hands interlinked the entire excursion to this building. Lisbeth’s grin faltered at the sight. For the whole day, she plugged any emotion from appearing on her countenance, yet feelings can’t fully be repressed. A surge of grief inundated her. Lisbeth choked back a sob, causing a violent coughing fit. 
    “Hey, Lisbeth, are you okay? You must not feel good today. You’re still sick?” inquired Riley.
    “It’s okay,” Lisbeth responded in a grating, husky voice. “You go in first.” The brunette frowned but nonetheless heeded her directions. Seizing the moment in solitude, Lisbeth rid herself of the iron taste prominent in her mouth into her sleeve. It stained her sweatshirt with dark splotches, but the sweatshirt camouflaged the lurid coloration. Underneath the fabric, Lisbeth felt a thin trail of blood slither down her arm from her bandages. Though her condition debilitated with time, her fatigue didn’t deter her from seeing her trio of friends for once. Lisbeth’s vision blurred, but despite the impediment, she marched into the classroom with her head held high.
    “If you had one day to live, what would you do?” It was a trite saying, but that statement rang true for Lisbeth. As a person experiencing it, there was simply no answer. You would think saying goodbye to everyone and doing whatever you could would be the best way to go out, but once you received the ghastly news, you can not cope nor react soon enough. You would follow what your heart told you. Lisbeth’s heart told her to join her friends, who were oblivious to her state, one final time to stir laughter without shedding tears behind their backs and embrace her encounter with death.

    • K, this was very cool. Here, I’m thinking, “Just another day in the life of some kids…” and then the ending hits.
      The whole thing was expertly foreshadowed in the very first sentence. That’s great writing.

      • K says:

        Thanks for reading over it. It must’ve been a lot to read for something mundane in the beginning, but it was planned like that. For the quote in the very beginning, I was lucky I even found something that matched.

        • K, I forgot about the quote. I meant your first sentence.
          Once again, great effort. The planned length made sense, too!
          P.S. You don’t have to tell us it’s going to be long…just go for it! ;)  You should see some of the feature-length submissions in earlier challenges! Chris Fries, Becca Campbell, lil ol me…

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @K: A sapling doesn’t have the leisure to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets like an old-growth tree does. The sapling is too busy struggling to grow into what it will become. That growth is painful, but automatic. The sapling must try hard to not think too much during this automatic transformation. Every day is precious, even the worst of them. 😉

      Excellent submission.

  7. Briony Coote says:

    “Bloody Super!” PC Charlie Higgins grumbled as he and fellow officer PC Simon Anders started making their new beat down Middlemarch Street. “Does he really think laying extra beats on the town’s going to put the plug on crime as easy as that? Oh, sure,” Higgins now rolled his eyes, “it’ll help get it under control, but it’s not getting to the heart of the problem, is it?”

    “And what is the heart of the problem, Charlie?”

    “It’s that damned recession, Simon.”

    “Yeah, I know, Charlie. Same old story: young people can’t find work, families turning to crime because they’re too poor and what not – but that’s no excuse for breaking into somebody’s home in the middle of the night, knocking them over and taking their whole life’s savings or whatever. And we still have to do our job – people count on us for law and order and the papers chew us out if we don’t.”

    Higgins was still grumbling. “At the rate the world’s going, it won’t matter.” 

    Anders shrugged his shoulders and sighed. What an optimist.

    The policemen went on with their beat in silence.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Briony: I like the scene and tone you set with this. I could read crime/detective-type stories all day.

    • Briony, you made me want to watch Vera. My wife has me hooked on British shows – I can barely stand to watch the bland American dramas (Exceptions abound, but I have YET to see a bad British drama!)

  8. Briony Coote says:

    Thanks for the compliments!

  9. Rebecca says:

    It’s a crime to think you can’t be young at heart because you’ve reached a certain age.
    Count your blessings and plug in to your life no matter your circumstance.
    If you give up your need for control, your whole being will change.
    Chew on this for a while at night and before your go to sleep.
    Journal your feelings and you’ll be ready to greet tomorrow with a renewed energy.

  10. Lebbie says:

    Her daddy lies.  God is not good.  He is a cruel, heartless bastard who finally decided to answer a ten year old prayer.  She should have believed her daddy when he preached that the good lord answers prayers in his own way and time.  She should not have spent months praying, begging for God to make the baby disappear.  But she was so scared, so desperate to keep her mistake hidden.  Now, her prayer has been answered.  Her mistake, her little girl, no longer exists.  She hopes God is happy, sitting on his mighty throne sharing a belly-aching laugh with angels forced to worship him.

    How was she to have known that the first time she held Lily she would have been holding her heart?  Laying in the hospital bed, she had been oblivious to her parent’s shocked surprise that their innocent little girl had just spent the night bringing a new life into the world.  She had been too preoccupied with counting fingers and toes to be sorry; too busy smiling down at her whole world to regret bringing shame and embarrassment upon such a godly man as her daddy.  Maybe that was the damning crime.  Daughters should always honor thy fathers.   

    Like the little girl she was, she faithfully follows her daddy’s instructions ringing down from the pulpit.  Sit, stand, sing, sit, bow your heads…let us pray.  How can he do that?  How can he stand before Lily’s casket and praise a god who allows evil to touch the young?  Her daddy’s god did this.  Her daddy’s god created the monsters, monsters he lets chew up the innocent and spit into the bowels of hell.  How can her daddy demand they pray?  Worshipping a just god doesn’t matter anymore.  He never existed.  

    As the choir sings, she feels the plug holding her sanity slipping away.  She should have believed her daddy when he preached that a sin is a sin in the good lord’s eyes.  She sinned that night when she lost control, when she tempted that good Christian boy with the knowledge of the flesh.  She was mistaken that the good lord forgave her, mistaken that even though she sinned she was blessed with an angel.  Why did she believe there would be no repercussions for her sin?   

    Her daddy lies.  God is not good.

  11. Shane Arthur says:

    Wrote this in 45 seconds:

    Chew on the night of your fear until it has no matter. Cut its heart out like a crime of loss of control. Eat it whole. The day is young, but not long. The seconds are counting. Plug and play.

  12. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane… Yes I am! I have 301 more to write. 🙂

  13. Anthony Smits says:

    This list in reverse order…
    Plug it it. Count to ten. It’s supposed to keep you young, so… Go the whole way. Take control. Being healthy isn’t a crime, you know. At heart, you know taste doesn’t matter, so don’t sit there worrying all night. When the timer goes off, just chew it up.

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